June 17, 2015: Top 10 Tips to get your feet beach ready this summer!
The Podiatrists at Maidenhead Podiatry have put together a number of summer foot-care tips, to help get your feet in shape for the beach or just a summer at home.
Trim your toenails for summer – Use proper nail clippers and cut straight across following the contour of the toe, not too short, and not down at the corners as this can lead to ingrown nails. File them, if it’s easier.
Go barefoot– Go barefoot or wear open-toed sandals whenever you can in the hot weather (except when you’re in a communal shower or changing area) to help stop your feet getting sweaty and smelly. Go bare foot as much as possible at home. If you have diabetes, poor circulation or are taking anti-inflammatory drugs ask advice first from your Podiatrist.
Forget flip-flops– Don’t be tempted to wear flip-flops all through the summer. They don’t provide support for your feet and can give you arch and heel pain if you wear them for too long. (Fit Flops, however do offer some degree of support).
Change socks daily– If you have to wear socks in hot weather, change them once a day and choose ones that contain at least 70% cotton or wool to keep your feet dry and stop them smelling.
Remove hard skin– Hard, cracked skin around the heels is very common in summer, often caused by open-backed sandals and flip-flops rubbing around the edge of the heel. Use a foot file or emery board (pumice stone is horribly unhygienic) to gently rub away the hard skin, then apply a rich moisturiser such as aqueous cream or E45 to soften the skin.
Banish blisters – Blisters strike more often in hot weather and are caused by rubbing, especially between the toes if you’re wearing flip-flops with “thongs”. If you do get a blister, don’t put a plaster over it. Leave it to dry out on its own.
Buy shoes carefully – Always buy work shoes late in the afternoon. Shoes bought in the morning are often too small by the end of the day as your feet swell as the day passes.
Ring the changes – Wear a variety of different sandals and shoes during summer to help prevent cracked heels, hard skin and blisters. Wear shoes with leather or Gortex uppers. Hard leather shoes retain more moisture than more porous softer leather shoes. In general natural materials such as cotton and wool are far better for your feet because natural fibres provide a “wicking” effect which absorbs moisture and keeps the feet cool as your perspiration rapidly evaporates. Better still, some man-made socks wick sweat away from the skin providing a constant dry layer next to the skin. Change your socks or hosiery at least every day and take spare socks in case it needs to be more often.
Watch out for foot infections – The floors of communal showers and changing rooms at open-air and hotel swimming pools are hot spots for infections such as athlete’s foot and verrucas. Don’t wander around public pools barefoot. Protect your feet by wearing flip-flops in the changing room and at the pool edge.
Get help if you need it – Basic hygiene and nail cutting should be all you need to keep your feet healthy. Wash feet every day and dry properly between the toes, especially after swimming or using the gym.
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